Texas Tech offers free tuition to students from households that earn less than $40,000

Texas Tech's Red Raider Guarantee offers free tuition for lower-income families

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Tuesday, the University of Texas announced it will provide free tuition to undergraduate students with family incomes below $65,000 starting in 2020.

But, before you run off to UT, Texas Tech has a similar program.

It’s called the Red Raider Guarantee, a program that has actually been assisting students for 12 years now.

However, there are a few differences between Tech’s program and the one at UT, mainly where the money comes from and who it is offered to.

The Red Raider Guarantee program has been assisting with tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate students with family incomes below $40,000 since 2007.

Dr. Ethan Logan, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at Texas Tech University, said it includes all academic expenses and course-related fees, as well as student services. It does not cover room and board.

“This is something that I think is kind of, is the echelon of what is the next generation of college commitments for low socio-economic status,” Logan said.

UT’s program is funded by oil money through a permanent university fund, but Logan said Red Raider Guarantee funding is generated institutionally through tuition set aside, as well as from endowments.

“What is not covered by the PELL, what’s not covered by the state in terms of other grant programs that are in place for students from low socioeconomic status, we make sure we cover that all the way up to the last dollar,” Logan said.

Dr. Logan said in the future, Tech would like to be able to provide more, but he said $40,000 is a threshold they know they can currently guarantee.

“Texas Tech can meet that by our own independent development and what we can do and the cultivation of funds that we have for scholarship,” Logan said.

In 2018, the program helped 979 students; 3.3 percent of undergraduate students participated in the Red Raider Guarantee program. This year, roughly 1,500 students, making up five percent of the student population, will participate.

Dr. Logan said this program is a public service and a part of what social agents should do.

“One, to provide the accessibility that would otherwise be restricted by finance, and two, because that potential for social mobility and the opportunity, the impact that that has to families of a low socioeconomic standing,” Logan said.

There is not a separate application for the Red Raider Guarantee program. Once the student files the FAFSA or TASFA, the financial aid office will identify all eligible students.

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